The one thing you constantly hear from people when they first hear about Kho Health is that D1 sports medicine would never need this because they have their healthcare teams. I always the same answer and that is “ NOT SO FAST!” D1 Sports medicine does have their dedicated medical staffs but if you think that every school is providing for their athletes and the levels that they should be you are sadly mistaken.
My D1 Sports Medicine Experience
When I was running track at Iowa State, a few things immediately jumped out at me.
- Staff is Mostly ATCs
- Control + Ego Create More Issues
- Medical Staff Not Evaluated on Who is Health Or Not
- Coaches and Medical Staff Have Different Agendas
- Athletic Careers Get Wasted on a Regular Basis
- Your Only Good as Your Last Performance as an Athlete
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 1 – Staffs Consist Mostly of Athletic Trainers
I have no issue with athletic trainers at all. The problem is that their skill sets are great for particular things. Athletic trainers do not cover the full spectrum of healthcare providers needed for the range of athletic injuries the staff sees. To make this problem even worse, many schools rely on graduate assistants and even undergraduate students to help fill the gaps.
When you have an injury that is perfect for the traditional medicine route like an ACL tear the system works. The ATC will evaluate you and refer you to the team doctor. The doctor will decide you need surgery and refer you to the surgeon affiliated with the school. Then for the rehab, the ATCs will work with the athlete to get them back. Easy like Sunday morning.
When the bigger problem enters is if you have to say spinal issues, or you pull your hamstring. Many ATCs do not have the skill set to help you through this. They are not trained in a wide enough range of skills to deal with musculoskeletal injuries. Staffs need to be more diverse. They should have chiropractors, athletic trainers, physical therapists and massage therapists at the very least.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 2 – Understaffed
My wife was once an athletic trainer for a track team of 136 kids. How can one athletic trainer take care of 136 different athletes without being overworked? The answer is you can’t and make kids were injured because the team needed more help, but still kept growing in numbers year to year.
Very few schools have the right numbers in their staff to ensure that all athletes can get the help they need. What ends up happening is that these schools end up creating their ranking system. If you are a “good” athlete, then you get treatment and taken care if you are deemed “bad “ you get left to fend for yourself, or you just get some ice.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 3 – Control + Ego Create More Issues
Here is the worst part of the sports medicine system and most of the NCAA. The NCAA is always looking for more ways to control athletes. They want to know everything you do; they want all of your time and life. If you suffer an injury that a school is not able to help, many times this flares up egos. There could be someone else you could see or even find a healthcare provider on Kho Health. That is frowned upon though and the reason is that someone has a hurt ego.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 4 – Medical Staff Not Evaluated on Who is Health Or Not
Here is a brutal truth, you could be hurt the entire four year period, and no one will get fired. Coaches are paid for performance so if you and your whole team consistently do bad the coach will most likely be fired. If the entire team is injured the coach may get fired but the sports medicine staff will not.
It is important this is understood because if you are on a scholarship, you have much to lose. The sports medicine staff working with you may be nice people, but they have nothing to lose. If you get healthy or not, they are still going to get a paycheck. It is on you to take your health into your own hands.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 5 – Coaches and Medical Staff Have Different Agendas
Coaches need performance to keep their job. The need for performance now can often push coaches to overtrain athletes. The medical staff may know that an athlete needs to rest or they need six weeks of rehab to return to play healthy. If that athlete is excellent and the coaches job is on the line you know have a conflict of interest that you see a lot in the NCAA. This problem will not improve until you see better communication channels between sports medicine and the coaches.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 6 – Athletic Careers Get Wasted on a Regular Basis
It sucks to say this, but there is a tone of athletic careers that get wasted in the NCAA system. The reason this is so easy for schools to do is that there is always the next man up. Coaches always have their eye on who they can bring in next. Coaches know that if one person does not live up, there are ten more around the corner who want the opportunity. Athletes become disposable good with this mindset.
D1 Sports Medicine Problem 7 – Your Only Good as Your Last Performance as an Athlete
I came into the NCAA system as a recruit that a coach took a chance on. I had to prove my worth. The problem is that I was hurt the first two years of schools. I saw how you could go from people having high hopes for you to giving up on you. At the same time, I also made the Olympic team after my junior year, so I went from Hero-Zero- Here all in a short period. If you are not performing, you are more than likely not going to get the love you deserve, and you have to just deal with that.
The D1 Sports Medicine system is not easy to navigate by any means. It requires very careful navigation, excellent relationship building, and a coaching will to train you right. Here is the reality of it though, if you are an athlete it is your career and your health. No one is going to have to live with your body, but you so take care of it.
How to Find Providers Outside of D1 Sports Medicine
Kho Health is the easiest way to find The best local sports medicine, providers. You no longer have to open Google and enter sports medicine doctors near me. Instead, go to KhoHealth.com and search for whatever therapist you are looking for. You can search for the type of therapists.
- Physical Therapists
- Registered Dieticians
- Massage Therapists
- Sports Medicine Physicians
- Naturopathic Doctors
- And more…
The type of skills set you can search for
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more
Where the search tool gets powerful is that you can search based off of type and skill. For example, you can search Chiropractors + Acupuncture + Graston, and the results will show you local options that have all of those skill set that you desire. There is nowhere you can do this on the internet besides Kho Health.
Now all of that may seem a bit overwhelming. You may be thinking I need a sports medicine doctor near me, but I did not realize there were all these options and you don’t even know where to start. Kho Health will ask you a series of yes or no questions that will help you figure out what type of provider that you should see.
Every provider comes with what is called a Kho Number. The Kho number is your way of comparing and ranking healthcare providers. The figure consists of three data points.
- Ratings and Reviews – To help you figure out what others think
- Engagement – Does the healthcare provider answer question and post content to educate the community.
- Insurances Accepted – The more insurances accepted, the better chance you can see them
The Kho number makes it easy for you take a quick glance at a healthcare provider and know whether you want to work with them or not. You don’t have to read reviews or check their profile if you don’t want to because the Kho Number will tell you what you need to know. If you are on the search for that elusive sports medicine doctor near me, Kho Health is the most natural place to start.